Merle Haggard Museum Planned for Downtown Nashville

Located next to the Johnny Cash Museum, Haggard's spot will include Southern-style restaurant and nightspot

Merle Haggard, seen here performing on the ABC 'Johnny Cash Show' in 1971, will soon be the focus of a museum located next to the existing Cash museum in downtown Nashville. Credit: ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images

Merle Haggard's legacy as an icon of country music and his longtime friendship with the late Johnny Cash are both soon to be celebrated with the opening of the Merle Haggard Museum in downtown Nashville. Bill and Shannon Miller, founders of Icon Entertainment Group, and the owners of the flourishing Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline museums on Third Avenue have worked with the late singer's family, including his widow, Theresa Haggard, to curate performance outfits and musical instruments, along with professional and personal possessions from the entertainer, who died on his 79th birthday, April 6th, 2016.

The Haggard-centric museum, which will feature interactive exhibits, will open right next door to Cash's, which is just below the space dedicated to Cline and her career. As a bonus attraction, the site will also be home to Merle's Meat + 3 Saloon, a Hag-themed restaurant and bar featuring Southern home-cooking and potent potables. The restaurant will be operated by longtime Nashville restaurateur David Swett. The Swett family first opened their famed Swett's restaurant in Music City in 1954.

Today's announcement coincides with the 50th anniversary of Haggard's "Sing Me Back Home," the autobiographical single that became the former San Quentin Penitentiary inmate's third chart-topping single after its release on this day in 1967.

Located at 121 Third Avenue South, Merle’s Meat + 3 Saloon will be on the ground level with the Merle Haggard Museum on an upper floor. The projected opening for both is the summer of 2018.